President Donald Trump described his four-part offer for a huge amnesty of at least 1.8 million illegals as part of his broader strategy to put Americans first.
“These four pillars will produce legislation that fulfills my ironclad pledge to only sign a bill that puts America first,” Trump declared in his 2018 State of the Union speech as democratic legislators sat in cold silence, some with their arms crossed.
We presented the Congress with a detailed proposal that should be supported by both parties as a fair compromise — one where nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs.
The framework plan is being firmly opposed by several pro-American immigration reform groups, including NumbersUSA, partly because it does not reduce immigration inflow until all 4 million foreigners on the immigration waiting list have arrived after 2030.
Also, the amnesty offer for 1.8 million ‘dreamer’ illegals is expected to grow larger because of expected fraud by applicants and continued business advocacy for more imported workers and consumers.
Border security needs to be improved, but illegal immigration will not end unless E-Verify is made mandatory. Scofflaw employers also get amnesty, and w/o E-Verify many can continue to hire illegally with impunity. https://t.co/YRk3TCfvkN
— Roy Beck (@RoyBeck_NUSA) January 31, 2018
Democrats also oppose the trade, saying it is racist, or excludes some of the ‘dreamers,’ excludes the illegal-immigrant parents who brought the ‘dreamers’ into the United States, and reduces the future immigration of people yet to be selected as immigrants.
Many Democrats want to reject the other three parts of Trump’s amnesty offer.
Many wish to preserve the visa lottery which brings in migrants from Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, and other far-away countries. The Democrats also want to preserve the chain-migration program which allows individual immigrants to gradually import many additional members of their clans or extended families, and they want amnestied illegals to be able to vote in as little as three years. Many Democrats also hate Trump’s $25 billion border wall because it is a practical barrier for migrants trying to reach Northern cities, but also because it is a symbol of American’s independence in the world.
So far, both political parties are far from agreeing to Trump’s proposed deal, which if approved, would prevent Trump and the GOP from running in the November elections on a pro-American platform against the Democrats’ increasingly extreme pro-illegals policies.
For example, pro-amnesty advocates cheered claimed that Democrats had invited up to 31 ‘dreamers’ and illegal immigrants to attend Trump’s SOTU speech. Also, there were some boos from the Democratic side of the audience when Trump described his plan to end chain migration.
— Todd J. Gillman (@toddgillman) January 31, 2018
Seems more unlikely than ever that Dems will agree to any kind of DACA deal that the president & GOP could accept.
— Mark Krikorian (@MarkSKrikorian) January 31, 2018
Throughout the speech, Democrats sat in hostile silence as Trump described his four-part offer. A large part of the GOP audience clapped and cheered their President’s speech, but many GOP immigration-reformers declined to applaud because they are hoping to shrink or block the amnesty.
Trump presented his amnesty offer within a larger vision of a growing economy. He said:
The United States is a compassionate nation. We are proud that we do more than any other country to help the needy, the struggling, and the underprivileged all over the world. But as President of the United States, my highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, and my constant concern is for America’s children, America’s struggling workers, and America’s forgotten communities. I want our youth to grow up to achieve great things. I want our poor to have their chance to rise.
So tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties — Democrats and Republicans — to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed. My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans — to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. Because Americans are dreamers too. …
In recent months, my Administration has met extensively with both Democrats and Republicans to craft a bipartisan approach to immigration reform. Based on these discussions, we presented the Congress with a detailed proposal that should be supported by both parties as a fair compromise — one where nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs and must have..
Here are the four pillars of our plan:
The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age — that covers almost three times more people than the previous administration covered. Under our plan, those who meet education and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able to become full citizens of the United States over a 12-year period.
The second pillar fully secures the border. That means building a great wall on the Southern border, and it means hiring more heroes like CJ to keep our communities safe. Crucially, our plan closes the terrible loopholes exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country — and it finally ends the horrible and dangerous practice of “catch and release.”
The third pillar ends the visa lottery — a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of American people. It is time to begin moving towards a merit-based immigration system — one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country.
The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration. Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives. Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children. This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security, and for the future of America
In recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration. In the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can just no longer afford.
It is time to reform these outdated immigration rules, and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century.
These four pillars represent a down-the-middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern, and lawful immigration system.
For over 30 years, Washington has tried and failed to solve this problem. This Congress can be the one that finally makes it happen.
Most importantly, these four pillars will produce legislation that fulfills my ironclad pledge to sign a bill that puts America first. So let us come together, set politics aside, and finally get the job done.
Pro-American reformers describe his amnesty offer as ill-timed, counterproductive and as a betrayal of his voters and his supporters on Capitol Hill. For example, Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth wrote January 29:
The future of President Trump’s first term—and prospects for a second—hinge on the forthcoming immigration battle; so he shouldn’t say anything in Tuesday night’s State of the Union Address that locks him into a bad deal.
And that is what’s on the table now: a bad deal.
Trump’s amnesty would likely dampen pressure for a wage rise, which is expected as companies begin to poach workers from other companies. The amnesty for at least 1.8 million illegals — which may rise to 4 million — would flood the nation’s labor market and so abort employees’ hopes for a tight labor market and for widespread wage rises.
Many business groups are pushing the administration hard to allow the amnesty, partly because it reduces marketplace pressure to pay higher wages to their employers. For example, the Koch brothers oppose the reform of chain-migration and the visa lottery.
— U.S. Chamber (@USChamber) January 31, 2018